As of January 2005
, TiVo has finally delivered on its long-promised TiVo To Go feature, which lets users of the popular DVR transfer recorded programs to their networked PCs and burn them to disc with the computer's built-in DVD burner.
In addition to a supported TiVo box (with an active TiVo account), you'll need a Windows PC with a DVD burner and a home network to link the two devices. The TiVo To Go functionality should already be present on your TiVo, but your PC will need the latest TiVo Desktop
software. Burning TiVo recordings to disc requires the purchase of Sonic MyDVD (version 6.1 or later). A free trial version of the software is available here
As with any tech goodie, however, TiVo To Go has its own set of caveats. For starters, TiVo To Go is currently available only for standalone Series 2 models from TiVo
. The feature is not available for TiVo-powered DVD recorders manufactured by Humax, Pioneer, or Toshiba (hardly a loss, though, since those models have their own built-in burners). Most importantly, TiVo To Go won't work with DirecTV's TiVo satellite boxes; DirecTV has its own media-savvy DVRs on the roadmap for later in 2005. And finally, there's no TiVo To Go software support for Apple Macintosh computers yet, but TiVo reports that its engineers are working on it. Indeed, TiVo's other network media features remain very Mac-friendly.
For a more detailed examination of TiVo To Go and all of TiVo's Home Media features--including online scheduling, digital photo and music support, and multiroom viewing--see CNET's hands-on review